According to recent research, the longer a woman is overweight, the more likely she is to develop breast, endometrial, colon or kidney cancer.1 Obesity is indeed a known risk factor for cancer, so this finding in and of itself is not surprising.
Worldwide, obesity is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases each year,2 and according to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), excess body weight is responsible for about 25 percent of the relative contribution to cancer incidence, ranking second only to smoking.3
When obesity is combined with other high-risk behaviors, such as a poor diet and lack of exercise, the relative contribution rises to 33 percent of all cancer cases in the U.S. What's new here is that the length of time spent being overweight also contributes to your overall risk. As reported by CBS News:4
"On average, the study found, the odds rose by 10 percent for every 10 years a woman had been obese. Similarly, they climbed by 7 percent for every decade she'd been overweight."
How Excess Weight Contributes to CancerObesity can raise your risk of cancer in several ways. Some cancers, especially breast and endometrial cancer, are sensitive to the female sex hormone estrogen, and fat cells produce an excess of this hormone.
This is also why obesity in young children is such a grave concern. By carrying excess weight (and excess estrogen) for many years, if not decades, they're at a significantly heightened risk of cancer as adults.
Obesity is also associated with elevated inflammation levels in your body, which can contribute to cancer growth. One of the basic reasons why nutritional ketosis works so well against cancer is because it drives your inflammation down to almost nothing.
A high-sugar diet, which tends to pack on the pounds, also feeds cancer by providing cancer cells with their preferred fuel. A healthy high-fat diet, on the other hand, tends to discourage cancer growth, as cancer cells lack the metabolic flexibility to use ketones derived from fat as fuel.
It is likely that the obesity represents an indirect marker for the true cause of the problem that contributes to both obesity and cancer, namely insulin resistance, which is also associated with leptin resistance and activation of the mTOR pathway.
By lowering your blood sugar levels and normalizing your insulin receptor sensitivity, exercise has a similar effect, as this too creates an environment less conducive to cancer growth.
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